AN: I do not own Power Rangers, Saban does. I own all places and characters not found in Ninja Storm.
Chapter 3: First Encounters
The day after arriving, Kyle started wondering around Blue Bay Harbor, getting a feel for his new home. Yuriko was with Tori, as the Blue Ranger showed her around. The newest Rangers quickly saw it was a nice town, whose residents did not frighten easily. They chalked that up to the constant attacks by Lothor. The team's third Red Ranger also saw an elevated path that would be good for cardio, and began to jog along the path. After going for about 5 miles, he decided to head back when he heard the Morpher go off. He went into a wooded area and brought the Morpher up to his wrist.
"Kyle, the Rangers have been ambushed by Zurgane, and require assistance in the two square," Sensei Watanabe's calm voice responded.
"Understood. Heading there now."
Kyle got directions from the owner of a nearby shop and quickly headed to the town square, where Zurgane and what looked to be a demonic clown were attacking the Rangers. Hunter and Tori managed to remain on their feet, as had Yuriko, who was readying her sword. Zurgane noticed the newcomer looking around to determine if it was safe to attack. Zurgane turned to him just in time to see a large fireball crash into him.
"Who are you," Zurgane snarled as he got back to his feet.
"Your worse nightmare," Kyle responded as he brought up his wrist.
"Inferno Storm, Ranger Form! Power of Fire!"
Kyle morphed into the Scarlet Ranger for the first time, and Zurgane appeared livid.
"Another Ranger? How many of you are there?"
Kyle cocked his head to the side. "Wouldn't you like to know," he responded and sped towards Zurgane, slashing him repeatedly with his sword, which he had set ablaze. Once Zurgane was knocked into a wall and was sufficiently dazed, Kyle then turned his attention to the clown, who had tried to press his advantage against the Rangers, who were struggling to get back to their feet after getting some of their energy sapped away from parasites that were attached to their uniforms.
"Clowns. Why did it have to be a clown," Kyle asked as he swiftly attacked. He set his feet and let loose an intense stream of flames towards the clown, who was knocked into Zurgane, as the General was running towards the Rangers.
"That's some power," Shane said as he and the others ran up to him, having knocked the leeches off. Kyle nodded and turned to Zurgane. The clown didn't speak, but launched more of the leeches. Yuriko created a sphere of vines around the team, blocking the assault. When she was satisfied the threat had passed, she dropped the barrier and attacked with a vine she called upon the whip the clown.
"Some help here, guys," the new Green Ranger asked.
"Let's do it," Shane announced as the Wind and Thunder Rangers combined their weapons.
"Thunderstorm Cannon! Fire!"
The massive energy ball slammed into the clown, who promptly exploded. The Rangers then turned to Zurgane, who was engaged in a fierce battle with the Forest and Fire Rangers. The newest members of the team used streams of flames and vine whips to inflict heavy damage on Zurgane, who promptly fled.
"What? No thirty story monster," Dustin asked.
"Don't jinx it," Tori told her childhood friend.
"Let's get back to Ops," Shane said, and the others nodded, demorphing in the process. Tori turned to her newest teammates.
"Those were some nice moves," she complimented. "You moved more quickly than we did."
"Thanks," came Yuriko's soft response. Kyle merely nodded, and Tori sighed. These two were going to be tricky to get to know. She got the impression the newest Red Ranger had his own issues, and the Green Ranger was very shy, as she had already discovered. She turned back to Yuriko, who was speaking quietly with Blake, who was no stranger to such issues, either. She smiled as she saw Yuriko enjoying the talk with Blake.
Hunter looked back to Kyle and raised an eyebrow. Ever since the Scarlet Ranger showed up, Hunter sensed a great power. He also sensed the very familiar electric abilities of the Thunder Ninja, and wondered why the Fire Ninja hasn't mentioned his additional powers yet.
As the team walked back into Ops, Cam looked up from his spot at the supercomputer.
"You have done well, Rangers. Take this time to practice," Sensei exclaimed, and the team promptly broke off into pairs to spar. Shane swiftly challenged Kyle, making Hunter raise an eyebrow again. "This should be interesting," the Crimson Ranger thought to himself.
The others quickly moved out of the way as the Sky and Fire Rangers stepped into the middle of the floor. After bowing, Kyle stood in his stance, observing Shane, who was looking for an opportune moment to attack. Satisfied that he had found something, the Sky Ninja initiated the battle. Kyle effortlessly evaded and blocked the attacks, launching kicks and punches as swift as his other two elements of Lightning and Thunder, a pass down from his late mother. Kyle then flipped Shane onto the ground, and the others were shocked, except for Yuriko, who hadn't known anyone long enough to gauge their true skill, and Hunter and Cam, who both suspected the Sky Ninja was still a bit too cocky.
"How did you do that," Shane demanded as he got back to his feet. Kyle shrugged.
"When you come from a Clan, you start training at a very young age. I've been training most of my life."
"Clan," Tori repeated, as the Japanese imports nodded.
"Ninja Clan," Yuriko said.
"We're not as prevalent as we once were, but there are still several remaining Ninja Clans back home, and Yuriko and I hail from two of them. The Satoshi Clan is the most powerful of the Fire Ninja Clans. And the Oshiro Clan," Kyle said with a nod towards the Green Ranger, "is perhaps the most powerful of the Forest Ninja Clans. When a member of a Clan starts to walk, we're taken to begin our training. We learn Kendo and Aikido for show; we can't exactly let civilians know true Ninja still exist in the 21st Century. So while there are outsiders around, we use one of those two fighting styles. But when nobody's about, we use our version of Ninjutsu." Kyle turned back to Shane.
"You were defeated because I've been training longer and exploited your weaknesses. One of them was your overconfidence, to the point of cockiness."
Shane didn't like that one bit. Kyle was a newcomer, and he's already lecturing Shane.
"Who are you to say that?"
"Someone who knows," Cam said, speaking up for the first time. "He's not the only one who has noticed your superior attitude is still there. You may be working with the others more effectively now, but you still have the tendency to think you're above the others. He took advantage of that, and used it against you. You should be grateful Zurgane and Choobo are too stupid to be able to exploit it," he finished.
"Cam," his father admonished. Cam nodded.
"Sorry. I'm going to stretch my legs. Kyle, could I have a word, please?"
"Sure." The Scarlet Ranger got the silent permission fro Sensei Watanabe, and left Ops after bowing to the guinea pig.
"Is he always like that," Kyle asked.
"Yes. He's very serious about his training, a good trait to have. But he's always had this holier-than thou attitude. And he doesn't like being upstaged. It's why he and Hunter didn't really get along after the Thunders broke out of Lothor's hold on them."
Kyle's head quickly whipped to the Darkness Ninja and fellow Japanese native. "I'm not here to pander to his ego. If he has a problem with that, he'll just have to deal with it," he said.
"Yes, he will," Cam said in agreement. "Just giving you a heads up."
"I appreciate it. Is there anything else I should know?"
"Not that I know of. But there is one question I wanted to ask: Where are you from?"
"I'm from Fukushima."
"Fukushima? Dad and I know a few people there. We even stayed there for a while 2 years ago. Could we have run into each other?"
"Highly doubtful. I stayed mainly on the training grounds of my order, and at my Clan's estate in the forest. My Uncle and Aunt run it, and help train my cousin. They also helped train me while I was still there. It was there that I ran into a Samurai, though."
That caught Cam's attention. "A Samurai? Are you certain?"
Kyle shot Cam a look that had him wince. Kyle wasn't there for long, but Cam could tell he wasn't prone to exaggeration, or lying. If Kyle said he saw a Samurai, then Cam believed it.
"Allow me to rephrase. Samurai haven't been seen for quite some time, just as we true Ninja haven't. Is it possible that it was a recreation of a Samurai outfit for educational purposes?"
Kyle considered it briefly. "No, although I've no doubt that such a scenario has taken place before. It was peculiar. I was on my way back home from training, and I came across her, and their own training grounds."
Cam raised an eyebrow at that. "They probably didn't take too kindly to that."
"They didn't have a choice but to accept it, given that I saved their lives."
Flashback, 6 months prior
Kyle was walking through the forest on his way home. He was still in his Ninja uniform, as he didn't have a change of clothes on the training grounds that day, due to an accident caused by a novice Fire wielder. He certainly didn't need any civilians to start asking questions, so he walked through the forest. It was a good day, so he didn't mind the nice walk through the woods. However, he soon detected a fire not far from his position. His element allowed him to sense fires and whether or not they were natural. This one clearly was not. Wasting no time, he streaked to the location of the fire, which was not far from a training outpost, where he saw a young woman, and an older man nearby, observing her kata. What struck Kyle the most were the outfits the two people were wearing.
"Damnit, Samurai," the Fire Shinobi whispered to himself. He looked up towards the flame, and saw it was heading closer to the Samurais' training grounds. He knew he had to do something, even if it meant risking exposure. He silently climbed a tree, then leapt from tree to tree, getting closer to the fire. When he saw he couldn't get any closer without effectively blowing his cover, he went to a higher branch and walked near the edge. He stretched his arm out, and the flame immediately reacted, heading to him.
By this point, the female Samurai had noticed the fire and was about to alert her teacher when she noticed the flame heading towards a tree. It looked as if it was being directed, rather than spreading naturally. This intrigued her, and soon the fire was extinguished. Whatever caused the flame to head towards the tree was able to somehow absorb the flames, as there was no damage to the tree or the surrounding area. The female's trainer had noticed the pause in her training and swiftly headed to her.
"Lauren, it is imperative that you continue your training. You have a big responsibility, and you must be prepared."
"I know Sir, but something odd happened." She told her Sensei of the incident, and he raised an eyebrow.
"Interesting. Are you absolutely certain this took place?" The blonde haired female nodded.
"Hmmm. There is an order of people who have that ability, but I thought them to be mere legend."
"There are groups of Shinobi who wield the power of nature itself, just as you and certain others do."
"I thought the Shinobi faded into story; they haven't been seen for centuries."
"It is the only logical explanation. A Fire Ninja is responsible for saving us."
As they spoke, Kyle silently descended from his perch in the tree, and the trainer noticed movement nearby. So did the blonde Samurai, and Kyle, who leapt into action. He swiftly disabled the arsonist, who was trying to flee the scene, and brought him out. By that time, the blonde and her trainer had already come out, having noticed the movement and came out to investigate. They stopped in their tracks when they saw a tall and powerfully built man in a Ninja outfit. The trainer noticed the mark of a flame enclosed in a circle above the left breast on the Ninja's uniform, and put it together.
"It was you, wasn't it? You're the one who saved us."
Kyle turned to the two and nodded. He then shoved the would-be arsonist to the ground in front of them.
"Here is your perpetrator," Kyle exclaimed. "He tried to flee. He failed," he simply finished.
Kyle was about to turn and head off when the young woman stopped him.
"Wait! How did you do that? Who are you? How can I thank you?"
Kyle silently weighed his options. He merely did what was necessary, and wanted or needed no thanks. But the girl appeared to be adamant, and her trainer also seemed to want to thank him. He sighed and pulled off his mask after striking the back of the arsonist's head, knocking him out.
"My name is Kyle Satoshi. I am a Fire Ninja. No thanks are required. I did what was necessary. I must insist you swear on your honor as warriors that word of this never gets out. I don't need the wrong people to start sticking their noses into our affairs. Time is crucial."
The two nodded. The teacher then spoke for the first time. "Satoshi…I've heard that name before. Wasn't your Clan originally one of the Samurai clans who broke away to found the Shinobi?"
"Yes. We are the most powerful of the Fire Ninja Clans."
"What are you training for?"
"For the day I have to save the world," Kyle simply explained.
The blonde knew they wouldn't get anything more than that, and felt the urge to repay the mysterious Ninja's confidence by stating her own name. "My name is Lauren Shiba. And I swear that neither of us will utter a word."
"That is all I require. I'll leave him to you to decide what you will," Kyle said as he gestured to the unconscious man. He turned around and was about to head off when Lauren stopped him.
"We are in your debt, and as a matter of honor, we will repay it."
Kyle stopped briefly, then put his mask back on and disappeared in the blink of an eye, moving faster than either thought possible.
Kyle withheld the name of the young woman, feeling it necessary to do so, as she had promised to do for him.
"Interesting. And all this happened back in Fukushima," Cam asked, bringing Kyle's attention back to the present.
"That makes sense. There are mountains nearby, making it the ideal place for training grounds."
"It's where my order are trained. Nobody approaches our grounds, and the right people in the right places know of us, and out of respect, keep their distance. In return, we protect the area discreetly. No outsiders know of our existence, and the vast majority of Fukushima is unaware of us, as well."
Cam raised an eyebrow. "Impressive. What's home like, though? It's been too long since I've actually lived there, and my short stay in your city doesn't count."
Kyle shrugged. "I'm not sure. Most of my time was spent training. I sometimes was forced to go into the city proper by my Aunt and Uncle, who felt I spend too much time practicing. Even now, I'm busy training and working towards my degree."
Cam nodded. He knew all too well what Kyle was saying, as he was much the same way. Right now, he was balancing training with being the team's technician and genius, as well as going to school to pursue his own degree.
"What are you studying," the Darkness Ninja asked.
"I'm in a double major program, studying electrical engineering and biochemistry. I already have a Bachelor's in software design."
Cam's head whipped to the Fire Ninja. "Electrical engineering, you say. How are you faring in it?"
"Perfect marks, why?"
"I've come up with a few designs for new weapons, but I'm more of a mechanical engineer than electrical. And while I'm good with software, someone with your background may be better suited for what I have in mind."
Kyle shrugged his shoulder. "Sure, just let me have a look at the schematics."
Cam led the Scarlet Ranger to the computer and brought up the schematics of a serpentine Zord, as well as the simulations he's run.
"I call this the Dragon Force vehicle. It'll uncoil when being used, and have a shield generator, as well as laser turrets and a flamethrower. However, finding a suitable power source has been giving me issues. Nothing I've tried seems to work in the simulations. And given Lothor's weaponry, I know I need something big, and soon."
Kyle frowned. "These numbers don't look right. For something of this size, given the current model, you'd have to divert power from one system in order for something else to run at optimum capacity. And this secondary system leaves a little to be desired. You need more than just a suitable power source. It looks like you may have to redesign the system so it can evenly distribute power."
Cam sighed. "Yes, I came to the same conclusion a few weeks ago, but haven't come up with anything yet. Perhaps a second pair of eyes will work?"
"Let me see what I can do. This could give me an idea for my final project in my engineering class. Could you print a copy of the blueprints?"
Cam printed the schematics, and Kyle sat at the low sitting table in Ops, his legs bent under his knees. Cam silently put a pad of paper and a pen by the Scarlet Ranger, who was already intently studying the schematics. Kyle started to jot some notes down on the pad of paper, making sure to inform Cam of some would be structural concerns. The other Rangers had apparently gone home, leaving Ops quiet, which both Cam and Kyle preferred. Cam was impressed with the Scarlet Ranger. Not only were his skills as a fighter great, but his intellect appeared to be razor sharp, as well. Hunter and Tori understood Cam more often than the others, even if they couldn't build or design anything. Sometimes Shane picked up on Cam's speech, but if Cam were being honest with himself, having someone like Kyle around took a huge weight off his shoulders. Finally, there was someone who could understand him without having to give monosyllabic responses. He hated having to dumb his answers down. Hanging around the intellectually challenged got tiring for the young genius sometimes. Considering the notes Kyle was making, Cam suspected the Scarlet Ranger would soon learn himself how tiring it is to dumb down his answers. He just hoped the Fire Ninja didn't end up killing Shane or Dustin for doing something stupid, as he got the impression Kyle held less patience than even Hunter. Kyle already told Cam he wouldn't pander to Shane's ego, something Cam understands all too well. "This should be interesting," Cam thought. He had no idea how right he was.
AN: For those who are reading my Mystic Force story, you now know how Kyle knew about Jayden's sister, and how they crossed paths.